Mantis Gone Wild: Friends In The Garden, Part II

Mantis_AdultRight now in my urban garden the Praying mantis are everywhere!  What started as dime-sized crawlers have turned into dollar bill sized acrobats.  They have vaulted onto me more than once when I have accidentally disturbed their foraging spot.  Praying mantis feed on aphids and mosquitoes and I have a plenty of each this year.

As promised, here is my follow-up post to Friends In The Garden: Inviting Animals And Insects, where I offer suggestions on soliciting visitors to even the smallest of spaces.  As the plants in my little habitat grow, so too have the amount of occupants.  Below are a few of the most photogenic.


Here mantis, mantis…


Middle Stage Milkweed Bugs


Swallowtail Butterfly On Vernonia


Inchworm On Sedum


Immature Stag Beetle


Wasp On Echinops


Wulfila Spider On Rudbeckia


Sparrow Drinking From Silphium Perfoliatum



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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great shots of the insects.

  2. Never mind. I’m not coming to visit after all.

  3. I love praying mantises. They are beautiful, creepy, cool, horrific, beneficial, evil little predators, all in one.

  4. NIce post! I’m a little obsessed with mantids right now too. I keep finding more. I fear my husband & neighbors think I am a little bit nuts!

  5. Great photos! That beetle look scary. I can’t believe you have it in your hand.

  6. Agreed, these are amazing city insect photos! I’m an urban gardener in Hampden too!

  7. I had a mantis fly into my house the other day because we left the door open for roughly 20 minutes. Getting it back out was a bit of a nightmare, but god those animals are beautiful

  8. Back when I lived in Baltimore, I sold beer at Camden Yards (most of their concessions were run by non-profits, like our little theater company). Our first year, we were up on the upper deck. We would get the hugest mantids flying over the walls, and landing in the middle of the walkways. These were the size of my hand. I would *always* find a moment to scoop them up on my clipboard, and toss them out of the ballpark. I never figured out where they were flying in from.

    Ah, Baltimore, I miss your weirdness!

  9. Hi Joel,

    I wanted to drop you a line to say that you’ve got a great blog going on! I work with, and we are putting together some posts about community gardens as they relate to integrative health. I love looking around here at your photos and the work you have done outdoors.

    Another favorite thing I’ve found: google street views of where city gardens are now. the street views are older, and often serve as “before” photos.

    Researching for these posts have got me inspired to garden, and I’ve even been able to pop out once or twice to the Ash Street Garden to help clear some weeds.

    Keep up the good work,

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